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WELCOME TO 185 CLAUDE GIRARDIN! "Click" to Login or Register 
Administrative Assistant
Picture of Dr. Debbie Irvine


Highly enthusiastic Chapter 185 Life Member Claude Girardin heads Waltham International in Switzerland, and they make some fabulous newly designed wristwatches. Check out their website...


Take the tour, check it out and tell us what you think of them! I see some real beauties, some highly advanced upscale examples, and I predict a bright future for Waltham, a company well-aware of its deep roots in the past. After all, Waltham taught the whole world how to mass-produce watches. Who better to lead the way today?

Looks to me like Claude and his team are onto something!

What do you say?
Posts: 4966 | Location: Northern Ohio in the U.S.A. | Registered: December 04, 2002
Welcome Claude to 185, i looked at the watches and they are all very nice.If i had the money i would love to have one.
Posts: 2133 | Registered: June 01, 2003
As I have mentioned before, I have met Claude on several occasions and he and his company, unlike the American folks who sell watches under the name, are true historians who love the brand and make extraordinary watches.

The day will come when Waltham is again as revered in the USA as it once was and as it currently is in the rest of the world!

Claude is a leader and a true watch lover.

Welcome Claude!
Jeffrey P. Hess
Posts: 764 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Florida USA | Registered: June 26, 2003
Picture of Carlos Flores
Mr. Claude Giradin,
Your company are making great watches, we appreciate their class and look forward for a renaissance of the Waltham heritage.
Regards and sure you will keep your good teamwork.
Posts: 325 | Location: Near Mexico City, Mexico | Registered: July 05, 2003
Picture of Stephanie O'Neil
It's an honor to have you with us here at IHC 185 Claude Girardin!

Thank you for creating stunning and incredibly beautiful watches for today's market!

Stephanie O'Neil

Posts: 1419 | Location: New Orleans, Louisiana USA | Registered: April 01, 2003
Picture of Stephen L. Russell
Cheers & welcome!

Beautiful stuff going on over there.I would enjoy more pictures of the PP 60.
Posts: 849 | Location: Victoria, British Columbia Canada | Registered: December 05, 2003
Picture of Jessica Lane
Looks very nice. If the images could be enlarged, it would enhance the site even more, especially with the addition of movement images.

Is Waltham a division of a Swiss firm? If so, to what extent is the brand run by Americans? The Lady and Lord Waltham wristwatches are quite lovely, but especially with the pocket watches, unless the movement is visible in more detail, it's hard to know what you think.

I applaud any effort to make Waltham a serious company.

Would you say that with the ability to use quartz and other time-expressive media that mechanical movements can 't compete in longlastingness or perhaps even moment-to-moment timekeeping, watches need either intellectually satisfying works, which are innovated in an intellectually satisfying way, or they need to compete with jewelry (as in the beginning).


Also what does COSC means? "Certified" I caught somewhere, but is that also a Swiss code? If so, how do watches pass this level of certification?
Posts: 834 | Location: New York, New York U.S.A. | Registered: September 06, 2003
Picture of Jessica Lane
Also, of course, a warm greeting to Claude.

Everyone I'm sure is very happy to wear a Waltham watch.

Sorry That my first note may be have been appropriately welcoming.

Jessica Frown
Posts: 834 | Location: New York, New York U.S.A. | Registered: September 06, 2003
IHC Life Member
Picture of Claude Girardin
Appreciating your comments. Waltham International SA (WISA) was founded in October 1954 by the original American Waltham Watch Company, Waltham, Mass. in Lausanne, Switzerland. Teviah Sachs was the first President of the Board of Directors, replaced in 1956 by Joseph Axler, assisted by two Swiss citizens, as per the Swiss Law requiring a majority of Swiss citizens on the Board. Upon the demise of the US parent company in 1957, WISA moved to Geneva and remained idle for a while. Upon the founding of a new US company, Waltham Chicago, in 1963 Harry Aronson and Morris Draft from Chicago, Ill. became board members, until 1969, when they sold the US company to WISA's new owners, the Société des Gardes Temps (SGT) Group, located in Neuchâtel, where WISA moved, attached to Invicta SA. In those days, Waltham watches were distributed in two countries, U.S.A. and Japan, each distributor developing its own collection and marketing concept. At sometime in the Seventees, Waltham Chicago went bankrupt, victim of the onslaught of Seiko and Citizen watches, later followed by SGT in Switzerland. WISA was saved by its Japanese distributor, Mr. Katsuji Takagi, owner of Heiwado & Co, importer & distributor of Piaget, Baume & Mercier and Technos watches. Ever since WISA has consentrated its efforts in developing the brand in Japan, trying to emulated the pioneering spirit of the US Waltham artisans & engineers in their search for excellency. WISA's management has ever since been Swiss.
Posts: 168 | Location: Nidau-Biel/Bienne, Switzerland | Registered: July 06, 2004
IHC Life Member
Picture of Claude Girardin
C.O.S.C.: Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronométres. Established by the Swiss Watch Industry by mandate of and overseen by the Swiss Government.
Posts: 168 | Location: Nidau-Biel/Bienne, Switzerland | Registered: July 06, 2004
IHC Life Member
Picture of Claude Girardin
Some more information about COSC ("Contrôle Officiel des Chronomètres" = The Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) officially certified CHRONOMETERS

Founded in 1973 in its current structure, this institute is a not-for-profit association. It was founded by five watchmaking States ("Cantons") of Switzerland: Bern, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Solothurn and Vaud, together with the FH, Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. It encompasses the laboratories / observatories that had been created independently of each other from the late 19th century onward.

Nowadays, three laboratories do the actual testing of the movements submitted by the individual Watch Brand's manufacturers to be granted the official chronometer status, located in Biel/Bienne, Geneva & Le Locle.

The criterias firstly laid out by the General Time Railway Inspector Webb C. Ball in U.S.A. in 1893 for Railroad chronometers and applied by the Waltham Watch Company, soon followed by the Elgin Watch Company and other American & Swiss Watch Manufacturers have of course evolved and been strengthened over the time, e.g. the international norm ISO 3159 provides the definition of a wrist-chronometer with sprung balance oscillator, with the COSC own addition of a permanent display of the second.

Each Officially certified COSC Chronometer is unique, identified by a serial number engraved on its movement and a certification number given by the COSC. Each movement is individually tested for 15 days, in 5 positions, under 3 different temperatures. Based on these measurements, 7 eleminatory criterias are calculated, the minimas of which must all be met e,g, for movements of a diameter over 20mm, indicated in seconds/day:

Average daily rate: -5 +8
Mean variation in rates: 3.4
Greatest variation in rates: 7
Difference between rates in H & V positions: -8 +10
Largest variation in rates: 15
Thermal variation: +-0.7
Rate resumption: +-6

COSC have developed their own standard for testing Quartz Chronometers with 8 eliminatory criterias:

Average daily rate at 23 degrees centigrade: +-0.07
Rate at 8 degrees centigrade: +-0.2
Rate at 38 degrees centigrade: +-0.2
Rate stability: 0.05
Dynamic rate: +-0.05
Temporary effect of mechanical shocks +-0.05
Residual effect of mechanical shocks +-0.05 (200 shocks equivalent to 100G)
Rate resumption +-0.05

Measurements are based on a time base established by 2 independant atomic clocks synchronised on GPS time.

Over 1'000'000 official chronometer certificates are being delivered each year, representing only 3% of the Swiss watch production, a proportion that underscores the exceptional nature of a chronometer. To earn chronometer certification, a movement must not only be made for the highest quality components, but also be the object of special care on part of the finest watchmakers and timers during assembly, standing out clearly from the standard watch production.

Sources: courtesy of "Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres", CH-2301 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, email: info@cosc.ch
Posts: 168 | Location: Nidau-Biel/Bienne, Switzerland | Registered: July 06, 2004
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